Hinchinbrook focus on wetlands
THE Tyto Wetlands would continue to be a major focal point for the Hinchinbrook Shire Council in 2007.
Mayor Pino Giandomenico said the council would also be pushingg overnment departments to release prime parcels of land for development in the beach areas of Lucinda and Forrest Beach.
The Tyto Wetlands precinct and attached information centre was expected to be officially opened in March.
The precinct will be the launchingpad for the popular walking tracks amongthe 90ha natural wetland site.
Cr Giandomenico said a variety of developments to complement the precinct were in the 2007 pipeline.
Tourism would also take a front seat, he said.
‘‘We are tryingto get tourism up in the region — we are lookingat a number of options and we just have to keep plugging away,’’ he said.
But securingfunding from the State and Federal governments was a real bone of contention, according to Cr Giandomenico.
‘‘We are tryingto move ahead and governments need to assist local councils that are lookingto move ahead,’’ he said.
‘‘Both governments need to look at increasingthe amount of investment they are puttinginto the smaller shires.’’
Cr Giandomenico said cost blowouts and reduced fundingleft councils like Hinchinbrook in a real quandary.
They either slug struggling ratepayers with a rate rise, or make the difficult decision to reduce services— services local residents had come to rely on and expect.